EXPLAINED | Where and who may be affected by the EFF's 'national shutdown'

The EFF is planning a 'national shutdown' next week. File image
The EFF is planning a 'national shutdown' next week. File image
Image: Esa Alexander

EFF leader Julius Malema has outlined plans for a “national shutdown” on Monday. 

The party is calling for the resignation of President Cyril Ramaphosa and an end to load-shedding, among other things. 

Malema has warned businesses countrywide to close their doors or risk looting.

Where is the starting point or meeting point?

He did not name specific locations, instead saying it would start “wherever protesters are”.

“Fighters, wherever they are, are going to gather and protest. It's as simple as that, it doesn't have transport or a route. The same way they protest in their communities, they will protest like that on that day. It's a protest, not a march. It does not have a formula.

“If the Union Buildings is such a centre, then we will meet there. The branch of the EFF in that area must make sure they embark on an activity that demonstrates they must be heard.

“If they feel they must be heard at the stock exchange, they must go and occupy and protest there to show white capital that as they grow their shares and monies a lot of people are being left behind. If they can go to parliament or a legislature or council, a harbour or the border gates, anywhere where we can go, let's go,” said Malema.

Who will not be affected?

Malema assured essential services workers they would be protected and have access to their workplaces.

“Essential services will be protected and they will make sure the workers have access to their workplace without difficulty, that includes the police, nurses and health workers. 

“Our structures will be co-operative and will make sure clinics and hospitals are functional,” he said. 

What will happen afterwards?

Malema warned there was a risk the shutdown could spill over to Tuesday, but should the protest continue beyond Monday it would no longer be EFF-led. 

“If it goes beyond March 20 it will no longer be EFF-led, [because] now society has taken over and it will be a confirmation of what we warned you about that there will be an unled revolution in South Africa.

“No-one can stop it, no army can stop it and no police can stop it. Who can stop this? Ramaphosa can stop this by stepping down.” 

What about damage to property?

Malema said the party will not take responsibility for damage or loss of life. 

“We've said we are not going to damage property, therefore we will not take responsibility for damaged property.

“Police have the responsibility to arrest criminals. Anyone who damages anyone’s property will face law enforcement. Ours is a peaceful protest. You will only come back to us if we said be violent, but we have never said that.”

Should EFF members participate in looting or the damaging of property, the party will take internal steps to discipline such people, Malema said. 



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